Answered By: Arabel Q
Last Updated: Nov 09, 2021     Views: 401

The library is here for you but some of our services may look a little different at the moment. For details about all of our resources and services, visit Getting Started With the Library.

The easiest way to access British Standards Online off campus is to use the Databases webpage on the Library Home Page. 

Once in Databases type 'British Standards Online' in the search box at the top right and click 'Go:'

Library a-z Databases page


This will take you straight to a link to British Standards Online. 

The only difference between accessing British Standards Online on campus and off campus is that when off campus you will be prompted to log in with your MWS username and password. This is the username and password you use to log into the University computers.

If there are any technical issues affecting the link to British Standards Online on the Databases webpage access can be obtained via the list of links on our Library FAQ How can I access Library online resources if there are technical issues?


Please note: BSI have introduced additional security for the downloading of PDFs from the BSOL platform.

To download PDFs from the BSOL site you should install FileOpen on your device. Further information and guidance is available from British Standards Institute. However, even with FileOpen installed it is not possible to open the PDF in a browser. You will need to save the PDF to your device and then open it from the folder you saved it in. It is possible to view a British Standard without downloading it all by using the Quick View icon: 

British Standards Online highlighting Quick View icon to view Standards.

If you are using an MWS device, the FileOpen Plugin for Acrobat is available from Install University Applications (on the MWS Desktop) and can be quickly installed in a few simple clicks. 

To open the standard in Adobe Acrobat:

  • Right click on the icon of the standard that you have downloaded
  • Hoover over ‘Open with’ and then select ‘Choose another App’ from the menu that opens

Settings option for Standards highlighting 'Open with' and 'Choose another app'


  • You will then be asked ‘How do you want to open this file’, scroll down and select ‘Adobe Acrobat Reader DC’, add a tick in the ‘Always use this app to open .pdf files’ and then click OK.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

The icon of the standard will then change to the Adobe Reader icon and will open when you double click on the icon.

Click the three dots at the top of the right hand corner of the browser and then click 'Settings'.

Google Chrome highlighting 3 dots at top right and Settings option


Click Privacy and Security and then select Site Settings

Google Chrome settings, privacy and security and site settings highlighted.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on downward arrow by 'Additional content settings' then click 'PDF Documents

Google Chrome additional content settings.


Click on button to turn downloading of PDF files on.

Google Chrome settings showing button to turn on downloading of PDFs

Once this setting has been changed the standards will open directly in Adobe when opened in BSOL.

Click the three dots at the top of the right hand corner of the browser.

Microsoft Edge showing 3 dots at top right.


From the Menu that opens scroll down towards the bottom and select ‘Settings’.

Microsoft Edge Settings


On the settings page click on ‘Cookies and Site Permissions’ on the left-hand side of the page.

Microsoft Edge Settings options: Cookies and Permissions highlighted


Scroll down the page until you can see ‘PDF Documents’ and click on the arrow pointing left.

Microsoft Edge Settings options highlighting arrow next to PDF documents


The following option will appear, please ensure that the button has been switched to the right as per the image below.

Microsoft Edge: PDF View Settings button switched on.

You will now be able to open a standard via BSOL and it will open in Adobe Reader as opposed to Microsoft Edge.

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